The Toledo, Ohio, USA and Toledo, Spain connection is the oldest established Sister-City relationship in the world, dating to 1931, though their cultural relationship dates to the early 1800s.

As with our journey to Segovia, the Renfe high speed train whisked us to the Toledo train station in about 25 minutes, from where we caught a short bus ride into the city center.  Toledo is a medieval walled “city of three cultures,” where centuries ago Christians, Arabs, and Jews coexisted peacefully. Imagine.

 

Our visit to the former capital of Spain was spent wandering the narrow lanes, shopping (on a Sunday!  Yay!) admiring the architecture and soaking up the lively nature of the city. This is the Toledo train station, of “Moorish Revival” architecture style that was also visible through the city.

 

The Toledo Cathedral, spectacularly intricate on the interior. Alas, no photos permitted.
And the former Jewish Quarter, with its narrow and winding streets.

 

Toledo is a noted producer of Marzipan, and it seems, most of the lovely concoctions are made by nuns.

Too cute.

The Bisgara Gate leading to the main plaza in Toledo. In Marzipan.

A few more city scenes. Toledo, we found, is better experienced in person than through photo snaps.

The city loves its medieval history; it seemed that every fifth store sold swords, knives, and shields. No kidding.

Anna Grace and I walked out of a store to the sounds of a marching band!  The Jefferson Forest Marching Cavaliers from Forest, Virginia USA were marching through the streets of Toledo, performing a mix of holiday music and other popular tunes. The mood was festive–people lined the tiny streets while the police kept the main lanes clear for the band!  Fun!

 

Having spent more time shopping than anticipated (we were in search of attire for Honors Orchestra, as we had discovered Spain has more clothing stores that appeal to Anna Grace), we had to “make do” with cones of Spanish ham and manchego cheese as we raced back to catch our return train.

Before we knew it, our lovely city break was over. Like usual with our city breaks, we missed a couple of things here and there; could always have spent a little more time in one city or the other; and definitely could have benefitted from a “Spanish History for Dummies” tutorial beforehand. But isn’t that a purpose of travel, to learn and to be inspired?